A relationship that started over a lesson in a Sunday School class has blossomed and lead to the groundbreaking of a new 10,000 square foot facility for The Family Place at 1600 North 200 West in Logan.
While getting her hair done a few years ago, Belva Hansen was anxious about a lesson that she was to teach in her local ward of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints about abuse in the Old Testament and how to relate it to what is going on in Cache Valley. Her hairdresser suggested that Belva talk to Esterlee Molyneux, the executive director of The Family Place.
Belva said Molyneux agreed to come to her class and explained to them that things are not always as happy as they seem in Cache Valley and related numerous stories of abuse that happen right here.
“I was quite interested in what I heard,” Belva said at the groundbreaking ceremony.
She participated in some of the center’s fundraisers, continued to learn more about the organization and became closer to the people who operate it.
“It was my birthday and my son said, ‘I’m giving you a birthday present: $20,000 to give to Esterlee.’ Had I bugged him a little?” Belva laughed.
“As she introduced me to Esterlee, and I asked her what she wanted for her birthday, she just wanted to help The Family Place,” said Belva’s son and real estate mogul Del Loy Hansen. “That was the origin of the $20,000.
“She wanted nothing for herself. She wanted everything she could possibly do for this remarkable institution that rescues people who can’t rescue themselves.”
“I have to say, my mom has the ability to get in my brain and flip little switches,” her son Randy also added. “When she calls and says, ‘I want to build this center’ (flips the switch); ‘We’re going to need more money, it has to be bigger’; ‘It’s a really good cause, you should tour it when you’re up here.’
“In life, it’s wonderful to have a mom that gets in your brain your entire life and flips the switch that says, ‘Do the right thing.’ So I can take no credit for anything. I’m proud of my mom for her dedication to this project.”
“The project that we are celebrating today has required leadership, foresight, careful planning and philanthropy,” said Molyneux. “One of my favorite quotes comes from Margaret Mead who states, ‘Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.’
“That is the case with today’s celebration.”
Molyneux said Belva Hansen’s efforts epitomize Margaret Mead’s quote which is just one of the reasons why Belva’s name will forever be associated with the new building.
Not only was Belva instrumental in arranging funding and financial support, she was also instrumental in pushing Esterlee for a name change. Until this summer, the organization was formerly known as the Child and Family Support Center.
“I could not remember the name and she didn’t like people calling her at 2 in the morning wanting child support,” Belva joked.
She said the name wasn’t catchy so the board went to work and came up with The Family Place.
“That just warms you up, and you can wrap around it, it’s short and I can remember that,” she continued. “So I will take credit for that. I bugged them enough so they did something about it.”
Funding for the new location of The Family Place came through several sources. The Hansen family played a significant role, as well as Wasatch Properties and grants from Key Bank.
“I take pride that among my brothers and sisters we’ve been able to raise, both for the building and for long-term support, a little over $1.5 million,” Del Loy announced.
Del Loy also issued the challenge that was given to him from his mother to use donations to The Family Place as a tax benefit.
“There are a lot of people at Wasatch (Properties) who have earned a great deal of money and I challenge them, and I challenge our staff to encourage them, to take advantage before the tax year goes out to make some donations and avoid some very large tax bills that they’re going to get.”
Donations are still needed for the building and for the organization’s ongoing programs such as educational workshops for parents and children, counseling programs for youth, 24-hour crisis nursery and others. Construction on The Family Place will begin right away and its completion is expected to be done this time next year.